One way of keeping a lawn looking bright and healthy is through the use of a sprinkler system, but common problems with lawn sprinklers can turn this task into a costly burden. By diagnosing and repairing common sprinkler problems on your own, you can save money and time (and get back on your way to having a beautiful green lawn).
One common problem is a malfunctioning timing system. The timer regulates when the sprinkler turns on and off, and if it’s not working properly, it can essentially render the system useless. Check both the timer and the rain sensor, which affects when the sprinkler is activated. A broken sensor will prevent automatic opening of the remote valves. Also check to see if the timer has a power source. Replace the battery if your system uses batteries as a backup power source. Additionally, it can’t hurt to reset and reprogram your timer just in case.
Leaks are another issue with sprinkler systems; they waste water and interfere with proper lawn irrigation. Check the sprinkler head first and adjust it to an even grade if necessary. Many systems have a “leak indicator,” which you can use to diagnose other sources of leaks. Check the indicator with the water running and with it off.
If you have a problem in one zone but not in others, follow this diagnostic procedure: check for a current at the zone wire terminal where the failure is located, then reset the controller. You should also remove the wire nuts and check the electricity flow from the controller. You may need to replace the controller or the valve solenoid.
A spray head that doesn’t emit water can be caused by a simple clog, which you can repair easily. Just unscrew the head and clean out any clogs with your fingers or a small tool.
Low pressure is a problem that can impair the whole system. Normally this is caused by a cut line: check each zone and see if the problem is confined to a single zone or multiple zones. If all zones are affected, you should turn off the main supply line, as this suggests a break in the main line. Look around the yard for pooling water in order to target the problem area.
An overactive system that won’t shut off is another potential problem. If the clock is working, check for debris deposited in the control valve. Flush it out or have it professionally serviced.
Finally, watch out for brown patches around the lawn, which are tell-tale signs of sprinkler malfunction. This could be caused by a cut line but is more likely a symptom of inadequate water supply. Check your water management schedule and look how the heads in the brown areas are operating. If you need to repair the heads, it’s advisable to let a professional service it unless you’re confident in your DIY abilities, since heads can be easily damaged if the wrong tools are employed.
A lush, verdant lawn enhances the aesthetic appeal of an entire home. While it’s not always easy to maintain a lawn of healthy, thick grass, the task should be a lot less difficult if your lawn sprinklers are operating at peak performance.